As the 2016 NFL Draft at the Auditorium Theatre in Chicago quickly approaches, CSNChicago.com is releasing a list of the Top 5 prospects at each position leading up to Day 1 of the draft on Thursday, April 28 . Next up is the defensive line.
1. DeForest Buckner, Oregon
6’7” | 291 lbs.
83 tackles, 17 TFL, 10.5 sacks, 5 PD, FR
"Where He Wins: Has the tools to be extremely disruptive versus the run and rushing the passer. Right now Buckner shines against the run thanks to his size, length and strength to shed. Those tools can work as a pass rusher, but right now the awareness to shed and create space is not there on a consistent basis. He could play a variety of alignments up front based on personnel packages. He played on 85.5% of the school’s snaps this season." - Josh Norris, Rotoworld.com
2. Sheldon Rankins, Louisville
6’1” | 299 lbs.
58 tackles, 13 TFL, 6 sacks, PD, 2 FR
"Where He Wins: A true interior disruptor. Rankins was asked to play next to the center, guard and outside of the tackle this year. He’s at his best getting upfield off the snap with explosion and agility, then uses a variety of moves to win one on one. He’s quite strong for a compact defensive tackle. Disruptors like Rankins can be difficult to find in any class. Rankins was on the field for 79.4% of the school’s snaps." - Josh Norris, Rotoworld.com
3. Vernon Butler, Louisiana Tech
6’4” | 323 lbs.
50 tackles, 10 TFL, 3 sacks, 2 PD, FR
"Where He Wins: Butler moves differently than most interior defensive linemen. He can be slippery on counter moves or off the snap, even at 6’4/325 lbs. Butler has displayed the ability to win through his opponent and around them. Don’t go too far with this comparison, but Butler can win in the same ways as Mo Wilkerson. A “leap of faith” candidate due to poor athletic testing." - Josh Norris, Rotoworld.com
4. Robert Nkemdiche, Mississippi
6’3” | 294 lbs.
26 tackles, 7 TFL, 3 sacks, PD
"Where He Wins: Production was definitely minimal, but Nkemdiche offers plenty of disruption potential. After playing outside early in his career, Nkemdiche looks at his best inside. His natural athleticism is an advantage there, winning around heavy footed offensive linemen off the snap or through weaker opponents. He lacks backfield vision and awareness." - Josh Norris, Rotoworld.com
5. Jarran Reed, Alabama
6’3” | 307 lbs.
57 tackles, 4.5 TFL, sack, 2 PD, FR
"Where He Wins: An extremely stout run defender who can play from outside or over top of the center, guard or even tackle on some snaps with a specific role. The question is if he can be more than just a run defender, or if that strength can be coupled with upfield ability to be an asset as a pass rusher." - Josh Norris, Rotoworld.com